Study Guide

Ferris Bueller's Day Off The Ferrari

The Ferrari

Rides. Whips. Jalopies. Whatever you call them, you've probably noticed that cars are a big deal in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. (And if you call them jalopies, then you were probably born well before this movie first hit theatres, Grandpa.) Both Ferris and Jeanie mention the fact that Ferris doesn't have a car and instead has a computer. Only one of them views this as a terrible injustice, though. Guess who?

Cars are even more significant in Cameron's world. Specifically one car: a Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder. As Ferris drools, "It is so choice."

It is also a 500-horsepower symbol of both Morris Frye's destructive misplaced attention and his son Cameron's debilitating fear. "My father spent three years restoring this car," Cameron tells Ferris. "It is his love, it is his passion." Later Cameron says of the car and his father, "He never drives it; he just rubs it with a diaper." Hey, uh, Morris? First of all, what's with the diapers? Second of all, what about your kid?

For Cameron, the Ferrari is a gleaming, sporty, bright red reminder of his father's lack of interest in him. It's also a reminder of his own inability to stand up to his disengaged father and, for lack of a more eloquent phrase, call him on his poop. It's no wonder that, at the end of the film, after he and his friends have returned the Ferrari to its lavish garage, Cameron physically takes out his pent-up rage on the car.

"Who do you love?" Cameron demands while kicking the front bumper. "Who do you love? You love a car!" It's not the car itself that Cameron hates, it's what it represents: an inattentive father who loves a small block V8 engine more than his own son, and the fear and anxiety that such knowledge has fashioned in him. When Cameron sends the Ferrari crashing into the woods below, he sends his fear with it, and he's finally ready to confront his absent, withholding dad.

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